Traveline offered an easy 24 minute walk to the train, which goes to Petersfield and the Winchester bus to Brockwood . . . well, easy if the boat had arrived on time . . . as it happened there were 20 minutes available for a very brisk walk along the dual carriageway and down the unlovely pedestrianised high street . . . a free ticket office and helpful bloke "plenty of time, you've got 4 minutes yet" . . .
. . . and so to Brockwood in Spring . . . daffodils and primroses, birds singing and accommodation perfectly simple and not at all basic . . . having stayed in albergues, youth hostels, cabins and caravans, three star hotels and no star hotels, this has it right for me . . .
Supper is convivial with another guest and a guest helper: Claire and Chantal from France, plus James and Wilfred from the centre. It's quiet until Friday, then full for an organised retreat.
Wednesday and Thursday pass with a perfect mixture of quiet, woodland walks, delicious food and some very interesting company . . . which extends the stay another day, and delays today's hitch-hiking . . . a half hour of which is enough and it's on the bus to Winchester Railway Station where a Newcastle bound train is due in ten minutes.
Research on travel options offered coach, rail, lift-share and flight possibilities . . . none of which stood out ahead of time . . . meaning full price for the train, but it will take me to Darlington in time for a bus to Crook and on to Stanhope . . . which is feeling increasingly the place to be . . . for now . . .
This morning's information from Charles, who left Doncaster by car at 2.30 am is of roadworks and long delays on the M1, which makes the bus, hitch-hike and lift-share options less desirable. The plane is quick, of course, but means getting to and from the airports . . . and something says that since this trip has so far not taken off from earth or sea, why start now . . .
Train is my favoured mode after walking . . . something about the pace of it . . . this route avoids London too, which suits . . . time to sit back, read a little, write a little, look at middle England go by . . .
The thing with Brockwood is that it embodies K's teaching, as well as holding the complete works. It is a beautiful space in which to combine study, reflection, discourse and meditation. There are no icons or ornate decorations, no graven images of K or anyone to distract from the core teaching: each takes responsibility for their own path.
This time, after all the lone walking (always vaguely aware of never being alone out there), the conversations are to the fore . . . philosophy . . . and tempering a temptation to talk too much, active listening opens the way for interesting information from Claire, Chantal, James, Helena, Gordon, Charles, Chi, Dipti and Sunni . . . mostly about energy and some heartfelt connections, which will surely lead to future meetings.
All this easing me into the next phase, returning to social projects in Stanhope, being true to my self (whatever that is).